I have been coughing unstoppably the entire week after returning to NY from my beloved Kabul. I have the luxury to come for a 3 day weekend in Eastern Long Island known for its breezy fresh air and I can still feel the residue of the horrid contaminated toxic air in my lungs. the pollution gets trapped on top of Kabul and can't move because of endless mountains surrounding it like towering walls. Kinda like LA worst case scenario.
The clean breezy beach air reminds me of how clean the air in MY Kabul was in 1982. The population of the city was just about 800,000 people and a small portion of families had ONE car. Now with an estimated 6.5 million people living in Kabul, many families have 2-3 cars and the polluted fuel is mixed with lead and many other aromatic toxins that makes you very aware of every breath you take.
My first step when i return was a trip to my homeopathic doctor. She immediately started with a bag of EDTA chelation to get heavy metals out of system (since I already had mercury poisoning a few years ago). That night I had cold sweat and uncontrollable shaking. Indication of heavy metals (A LOT OF IT) leaving my system (that is how I react to chelation).
What must be even more difficult is that a large population of women wear the chadari (knows in the west as burka), and I cannot imaging the claustrophobia that might come with that. Now men and women wear big cotton scarves and when the wind and dust picks up, those scarves act like surgical masque without one becoming too "precious" about ones health. But in case of the Chadari, the wind tunnels upward and directly goes into the wearers nostrils unless the prepare in advance and hold the fabric under their chin.
Chadari is an utter liability. It takes away the person's peripheral vision and renders them victims of getting hit by cars or bikes when crossing streets. Mind you there are no stop signs or stop lights. You cross and run hoping you get to the other side of the street unharmed. It is one of the scariest experiences even without the blindfold effect of Chadari.
I pray that this garment becomes erased from the streets of Afghanistan and the world for good. I pray for a leader with BALLS to make a law and once again ban this garment that represented oppression of women under Taliban.